banner banner
Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.
South Jersey's News Talk Leader!
Radio You Can Depend On!
ABC Politics

Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(SARASOTA, Fla.) -- GOP frontrunner Donald Trump says he wasn't mocking a New York Times reporter's muscular disorder when he made jerking motions seeming to imitate the man's condition during a speech last week, saying Saturday at a rally in Sarasota, Florida, that he was just showing a reporter who was "groveling."

"I was very expressive in saying it, and they said that I was mocking him," Trump said. "I would never mock a person that has difficulty. I would never do that. I'm telling you, I would never do it."

Trump has insisted that he does not know the reporter, Serge Kovaleski, and was unaware of his condition. Kovaleski has disputed Trump's claim and said he was on a first-name basis with the real estate mogul when he covered him for the New York Daily News in the 1980s.

"I didn't know him, it's possible, probable that I met him somewhere along the line, but I deal with reporters every day," Trump told the crowd. "Now he's going, 'Well he knew me and we were on a first name basis.' Give me a break."

Trump went on say that he doesn't take his imitation back, since he says he was not imitating a disability but a groveling reporter.

"I don't take that back because the person was groveling in terms of creating statements," Trump said, referring to a story that Kovaleski wrote for the Washington Post a week after the September 11 terror attacks that referred to allegations of "tailgate-style parties on rooftops" in New Jersey after the World Trade Center towers fell.

Trump has pointed to Kovaleski's story as evidence that his claim that "thousands" of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the World Trade Center’s collapse. But Kovaleski has since said he never heard about "thousands or even hundreds" of people celebrating and that he doesn’t recall the allegations of isolated celebrations ever being confirmed.

Trump accused Kovaleski of trying to retract his story and continued to defend his original claim that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated.

"I didn't like the fact that he wrote a story and he took it back, because he talked about tailgate parties and other things you all saw, and many people knew what took place and everybody knows it took place worldwide, so why wouldn't it take place in very strong Muslim communities, where they have a lot of Muslim communities?" Trump said.

Trump went on to bemoan standards of political correctness when talking about handicaps, saying that "it's complicated out there," and that he doesn’t have time to be politically correct.

"Never say a disable person or the disabled, say a person with disabilities. In other words you say the other, you’re in trouble," Trump said. "OK, Never use the term handicapped parking, use only accessible parking, even though people have handicapped permits. So it's so complicated out there, it's tough. And we want to be politically correct, but a lot of us don't have time to be politically correct."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Scott Olson/Getty Images(AMMAN, Jordan) --  Ben Carson said Saturday the United States must do more to help solve the Syrian crisis, but that bringing 25,000 refugees from the conflict to the U.S. will "do nothing."

The Republican presidential candidate was in Jordan Saturday, where he visited a refugee camp and met with medical professionals, humanitarian workers and government officials. Campaign officials told ABC News that Carson was traveling to Jordan on a "fact finding and information gathering mission."

"These brave people want nothing more than an end the war in Syria. They want to go back to their lives. We must find a political end to this conflict. Millions of refugees have now been waiting for years for the end of the war to come in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey," Carson said in a statement released Saturday to ABC News. "Some are giving up hope that they will ever be able to return to the country. We must keep their hope alive."

He continued: "Until it is safe for them to return home, Jordan is a safe place for them to wait. The kingdom has welcomed them with open arms. But Jordan is a small country. They need the worlds help to feed, educate, and care for these refugees until the war ends."

The visit marks the first time one of the 2016 candidates has visited such a camp since the refugee crisis began this year.

The campaign official told ABC News that the goal of the trip for Carson -- who has made controversial comments about refugees -- is to listen and meet with people in the region to get a better understanding of the refugee crisis and foreign policy dynamics in the region.

Carson called on the United States to do more to help Syrian refugees resettle in Middle Eastern countries, and said that the Obama administration is not doing enough to solve the crisis, and that bringing the 25,000 refugees into our country is not the answer.

"The United States must do more. Bringing 25,000 refugees to the United States does nothing to solve this crisis. Jordan already houses 1.4 million refugees. Jordan needs and deserves our help," the statement read. "In the coming days I will offer what I believe are real solutions to the problems created in part by the Obama Clinton administration's failed policies."

The trip comes after a recent spate of criticisms for Carson's alleged lack of foreign policy experience, with his own advisers saying he still has a lot to learn.

"He is not perfect," Carson adviser Armstrong Williams told Bloomberg News recently. "We’ll never be perfect. But he continues to surround himself with people and engage people that can enhance his foreign policy."

In The New York Times, Duane R. Clarridge, who has advised Carson, also offered a candid critique.
"Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East," Clarridge told the Times, adding that Carson needs weekly conference calls on foreign policy so "we can make him smart."

He also came under fire after comparing the need to screen refugees to protecting a child from a rabid dog.

"For instance if there’s a rabid dog running around the neighborhood, probably not going to assume something good about that dog and you’re going to want to put your children away," Carson said in response to an ABC News question regarding whether Christian organizations should be helping refugees.

But Williams insisted that Carson is learning, telling ABC News “he is learning, gaining confidence and making tremendous progress.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Ben Gittleson / ABC News(NEW YORK) --  In the match-up of Philadelphia’s professional basketball team and the Republican presidential candidate from Ohio, the politician seems to have come out on top.

The Philadelphia 76ers and John Kasich, the Buckeye State's governor, got in a bit of a Twitter tiff last month when Kasich jokingly insulted the team's skills at a town hall meeting. The Sixers fired back with a quickly deleted tweet that hit at Kasich's low poll numbers: "At least we win more than 2% of the time."

But guess what: So far this season, they don’t. So at least for now, Kasich was right.

The 76ers on Friday night set the record for the most consecutive losses by a major professional sports team –- 27. They are 0-17 this season.

As long as at least one voter supports Kasich, the candidate is performing better than the NBA franchise.
Kasich has since embraced the brief Twitter imbroglio. He has hit the basketball court a couple times on the campaign trail since then, playfully taunting the team but also praising its players and coach.

"Regardless of what they say, I do have a lot of respect for the Philadelphia 76ers," he told reporters after shooting around with the Milwaukee Bucks this month.

Kasich may be struggling to drum up momentum in the early-voting states and across the country, but this match-up is one in which he comes out on top.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  First Lady Michelle Obama and dogs Sunny and Bo received the White House Christmas tree Friday morning, continuing a tradition that serves as the centerpiece of holiday decorations at the White House.

"This is the tree that we use to honor our military, our main tree," the first lady said as she examined the 19-feet tree. "It’s beautiful, it’s gonna work. We’ll get it in the house."

The Fraser fir came from Bustard’s Christmas Trees in Lansdale, Pennsylvania and arrived on a horse-drawn cart while a quintet of the president’s Marine band played “O Christmas Tree.”

The Bustard family won a national contest last summer – their first time entering – that garnered the festive honor.

The tree is traditionally presented to the First Lady. Security appeared relatively normal for a White House event, and she did not mention the White House fence jumper yesterday.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- How is the president of the United States supposed to pardon a turkey?

Three Republican presidential hopefuls tried out their own turkey-pardoning skills with the Independent Journal.

Dr. Ben Carson said he was pardoning the turkey "for being ugly" while Carly Fiorina spent a lot of her time petting the turkey and offering it compliments.

Meanwhile, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio offered the turkey some cooking advice and said never to fry a frozen turkey.

Watch the full video from the Independent Journal below:

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was making a surprise trip to Jordan to visit a camp with Syrian and Iraqi refugees, a campaign official said.

The visit, which was announced on Thanksgiving, marks the first time one of the 2016 candidates has visited such a camp since the refugee crisis began this year.

Carson, who left Thursday night for the trip, posted a Thanksgiving message on his official Twitter account Thursday and made no mention of his trip to Jordan.

The trip comes after a recent spate of criticisms for Carson's alleged lack of foreign policy experience.

He also came under fire after comparing the need for screenings of refugees to protecting a child from a rabid dog.

“For instance if there’s a rabid dog running around the neighborhood, probably not going to assume something good about that dog and you’re going to want to put your children away,” Carson said in response to an ABC News question regarding whether Christian organizations should be helping refugees.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration said Wednesday that states can't legally block the resettlement of refugees, according to a letter from the Department of Health
and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement sent to state officials.

In the letter, the agency said states are bound by the Refugee Act of 1980 to provide "assistance and services" to refugees "without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex or political opinion," and cannot cut off ORR-funded services to Syrian refugees.

Additionally, the letter says refugees are protected by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which "prohibits discrimination on the bases of race and national origin" in all programs that receive federal financial assistance.

More than 30 state governors have indicated they will attempt to block any future refugees from settling in their states.

The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill on Nov. 19 that would require the FBI director to certify a background investigation for each potential refugee from Syria or Iraq, and administration officials including the Department of Homeland Security secretary must attest that each potential refugee is not a security threat to the U.S.

The White House and Senate Democrats oppose the measure, which passed through the lower chamber with a veto-proof majority.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., charged that the majority of U.S. governors have taken positions that reflect the views of their constituents.

"It’s hypocritical for Obama Administration officials to threaten enforcement action against these states when they refuse to enforce the vast majority of our immigration laws, such as cracking down on sanctuary cities that openly defy federal law and endanger the American people," he wrote. “The Administration’s latest threat shows why we need the American SAFE Act so that the American people have confidence in their government’s ability to fully screen refugees seeking to come here.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Robin Marchant/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump responded to critics who accused him of imitating the mannerisms of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski in a lengthy statement he tweeted on Thanksgiving day.

“I have no idea who this reporter, Serge [Kovaleski] is, what he looks like or his level of intelligence,” the statement began.

Trump said in the statement that he was merely mocking Kovaleski’s journalism credentials for attempting to shy away from the Washington Post piece he wrote on Sept. 18, 2001 that alleges Muslims were celebrating the attack on the World Trade Center with “tailgate-style parties on rooftops” across the Hudson River in Jersey City, N.J.

“I merely mimicked what I thought would be a flustered reporter trying to get out of a statement he made long ago,” Trump wrote in the statement.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2015

Kovaelski reportedly suffers from a condition that affects joint movement.

“I would definitely not say anything about his appearance,” Trump wrote. “ I have tremendous respect for people who are physically challenged and have spent tens of millions of dollars throughout buildings all over the world on making them handicapped accessible and ADA (Americans Disability Act) compliant.”

A statement also read that Trump demands an apology from the New York Times and accused Kovaleski of using his disability as a “grandstand,” adding that he should “get back to reporting for a paper that is rapidly going down the tubes.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- After serving turkey to homeless veterans and pardoning a turkey on Wednesday, President Obama will privately enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with his family at the White House on Thursday.

So what will the first family be eating this Turkey Day? Check out the menu below:


Thyme Roasted Turkey
Garlic Jus and Cranberry-Orange Relish
Honey-Baked Ham with Apricot-Mustard Glaze
Prime Rib and Creamed Horseradish
Cornbread Stuffing with Chorizo and Roasted Peppers Oyster Stuffing
Braised Winter Greens (Collards, Kale and Turnip Greens)
Macaroni and Cheese
Sweet Potato Gratin
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Fresh Greens
Kale Caesar Salad


Banana Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
Pecan Pie
Cherry Pie

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- This Thanksgiving, candidates are taking a break from the grind of the 2016 campaign trail to relax at home with their families -- even if it's only for a day.

Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton and Ben Carson will be with their families in Miami, Chappaqua, New York and Baltimore, respectively. Rubio told voters at a campaign event he will be frying the turkey.

Jeb Bush, like Rubio, will also be in Miami. But this holiday will not be spent with the famous Bush clan. Instead, he will be with his immediate family, which he tells CNN includes his "four unbelievably near perfect grand-children."

Donald Trump is the third presidential candidate spending the holiday in Florida -- but his location of choice is Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, not Miami.

Ted Cruz, who is celebrating the holiday in Texas, is planning on playing Cuban dominoes. Some movies are definitely in the cards as well, with the Hunger Games at the top of the list.

And, of course, the menu features prominently into the day. Cruz is excited for his father's flan. Bush insinuated he may break from his Paleo diet to eat his favorite Chipotle stuffing. Bernie Sanders' family menu includes Ben and Jerry's vanilla ice cream, a fitting dessert choice for the Vermont location. Carly Fiorina will be making her special cranberry sauce, with red pepper flakes, single malt whiskey, raisins, mustard, oranges, onion and fresh strawberries.

And while the campaign trail is draining, some may need a bit more recuperation than others, mainly Mike Huckabee, who just underwent knee surgery. Huckabee will recuperate in Little Rock, Arkansas this holiday, spending the time with his grandchildren.

Noticeably not on the table this Thanksgiving are stops in Iowa or New Hampshire. But the reprieve is short-lived; many candidates, including Trump, Carson and Clinton, pick right back up again this weekend, venturing out to campaign hard before voting officially begins in February.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In this week’s address, President Obama tied the story of the Pilgrims to the plight of refugees fleeing ISIS in the Middle East, saying the settlers who inspired Thanksgiving were “refugees who had fled persecution and violence in their native land.”

“Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims -- men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families,” he said. “What makes America America is that we offer that chance.”

Obama said Americans have been writing the White House offering to take in refugees fleeing the violence in Syria and Iraq.

“Now, people should remember that no refugee can enter our borders until they undergo the highest security checks of anyone traveling to the United States," he said. "That was the case before Paris, and it’s the case now. And what happened in Paris hasn’t stopped Americans from opening their arms anyway.”

Read the full transcript of the president's address below:

Hi, everybody.  In 1620, a small band of pilgrims came to this continent, refugees who had fled persecution and violence in their native land.  Nearly 400 years later, we remember their part in the American story – and we honor the men and women who helped them in their time of need.   
Thanksgiving is a day for food and football, and for hoping the turkey didn’t turn out too dry.  But it’s also a day to count our blessings and give back to others – a reminder that no matter our circumstances, all of us have something to be grateful for.  Maybe it’s good health, a new addition to the family, or a child taking a next step toward college or a career.  Maybe it’s a new job, or a long overdue raise.  Maybe it’s something as simple, and as important, as the chance to spend time with the people who matter most. 
Of course, every American can be thankful for the chance to live in a country founded on the belief that all of us are created equal.  And as President, I’m thankful that I get to see the best of America every day – the courage of our troops and veterans, the resilience of our families, and the basic goodness of the ordinary people who call this country home. 
On this uniquely American holiday, we also remember that so much of our greatness comes from our generosity.  There’s the generosity of Americans who volunteer at food banks and shelters, making sure that no one goes hungry on a day when so many plates are full.  There’s the generosity of Americans who take part not just in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but Giving Tuesday – recognizing that in the holiday season, what you give is as important as what you get. 
And I’ve been touched by the generosity of the Americans who’ve written me letters and emails in recent weeks, offering to open their homes to refugees fleeing the brutality of ISIL. 
Now, people should remember that no refugee can enter our borders until they undergo the highest security checks of anyone traveling to the United States.  That was the case before Paris, and it’s the case now.  And what happened in Paris hasn’t stopped Americans from opening their arms anyway. 
One woman from Pennsylvania wrote me to say, “Money is tight for us in my household … But I have a guest room.  I have a pantry full of food.  We can do this.”  Another woman from Florida told me her family’s history dates back to the Mayflower – and she said that welcoming others is part of “what it means to be an American.” 
Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims – men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families.  What makes America America is that we offer that chance.  We turn Lady Liberty’s light to the world, and widen our circle of concern to say that all God’s children are worthy of our compassion and care.  That’s part of what makes this the greatest country on Earth.  
I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by loved ones, and full of joy and gratitude.  And together, may we all play our own small part in the American story, and write a next chapter that future generations can be thankful for. 
From the Obama family to yours, have a great Thanksgiving. 

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Politics and religion: two topics that are best avoided with coworkers and new acquaintances. Same goes with family on Thanksgiving.

But, in an election season like this one, politics is in the air and it’s easy to forget this rule of thumb once the turkey is served.

So, ABC News spoke to two etiquette experts -- Jacqueline Whitmore, an author and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, Fla., and Diane Gottsman, who runs the Protocol School of Texas -- to get some tips.

Both said that in a perfect world, Thanksgiving would be a time to catch up and rekindle relationships with loved ones. But they acknowledged that a side dish of politics was inevitable.

 Are political topics ever fair game at the dinner table?

WHITMORE: “I think everything is fair game. Whether it’s appropriate or not is the question. It’s appropriate to have a healthy conversation. Etiquette is all about being mindful of others and also being considerate.”

GOTTSMAN: “The protocol at the dinner table is to make pleasant conversation and interact with each other, so normally we would say to stay away from politics, but the reality is, it’s not going to happen. So, if you’re talking politics and chances are you will, you need to be respectful of other people’s opinions. It should be a conversation not a food fight.”

What are your tips for making the discussion tolerable?

WHITMORE: “As long as you keep it light and positive that’s the most important thing. In a political year, different people have a different way of dealing and discussing different topics. Downer topics are not necessarily the best to discuss.”

GOTTSMAN: “It’s all up for debate, because there’s going to be someone that’s offended with anything someone says. If you have to talk politics, make that 10 percent of your conversation and 90 percent should be on reflection around the table. It’s not okay to be combative with your views and express them at the Thanksgiving table.”

Let’s say politics come up and things are getting awkward. What’s the most polite way to put a stop to an uncomfortable conversation and change the subject?

WHITMORE: “If possible, talk about topics that are most pleasant like holiday memories, food and travel. Or if it’s too uncomfortable volunteer in the kitchen, remove yourself from the situation.”

GOTTSMAN: “I always suggest the host take the lead, saying, ‘It’s clear that we all have an opinion -- that we can agree on -- but I think it’s important to reflect on why we’re sitting here together.’ If you are going to talk politics the bottom line is you should do it respectfully. It’s important to show tolerance and consider each other’s views.”

If you’re the host, what’s the best way to set ground rules without appearing disrespectful?

WHITMORE: “You can always start the conversation on a positive tone by saying, ‘Let’s all talk about what we’re thankful for this year,’ instead of just letting everyone talk about what they want.”

GOTTSMAN: “You already know Uncle Bob is just a staunch Republican, and everyone at the table are Democrats. So, set ground rules with Uncle Bob by saying, ‘We will talk politics for three minutes then we will change the subject.’ Tell everyone it’s going to happen and Uncle Bob has to be accepted for who he is. It’s okay to have family banter -- we wouldn’t have family if we didn’t have banter -- and who knows, you might just learn something you didn’t know.”

Let’s say your in-laws are in town and you are curious to know their thoughts on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). What’s the best way to ask at the dinner table without steering the conversation in negative direction?

WHITMORE: “I would probably ask them on the side, not in front of everyone, because you’re going to launch a bigger discussion. Pull them aside when you’re preparing the meal.”

GOTTSMAN: “If you want to know their views it would be best to say, ‘I’m not certain that I’m really working with all of the facts. Will you just share your opinion with me? Maybe I’m just not understanding.’ Being informed is different than combat.”

Any final tips for a relaxing Thanksgiving dinner?

WHITMORE: “Keep [the dinner conversation] light and positive, and if someone gets in a heated discussion change the subject or steer it in another direction.”

GOTTSMAN: “Come to the table with your own idea of what you want to get out of the meal. The Thanksgiving table is not an open forum, it’s interaction, it’s conversation, it’s asking people about their lives. We know what’s on television, we know the political parties of the people sitting at the table. Unyielding views will not grow relationships stronger. You want people to remember you fondly, not grateful that you’re walking out of the door.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Mike Lee delivered the Republican weekly address on Thursday, saying he is thankful for the service members who protect the U.S., the volunteers who help those less fortunate and the parents who provide their kids with loving  and supportive homes.

But while he said Americans have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, he noted that living costs are rising in the U.S. while pay remains stagnant.

"We have too many Americans trapped in poverty, sometimes for generations, and often because the dysfunctional government programs that are supposed to help them, only make it harder and less likely for them and their children to build a better life," Lee, R-Utah, said.

“I know it’s going to take hard work to overcome the problems besetting our economy,” he added. “But the American people never shrink from our greatest challenges. We always confront them, head on. In America freedom has never meant ‘you’re on your own.’ For us, freedom means, and has always meant, ‘we’re all in this together.’”

Watch his full address below:

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

tupungato/iStock/ThinkStock(WASHINGTON) -- The terrorist attacks in Paris, which left 130 dead, have reignited a Congressional debate over how much information the government should be able to access from citizens -- and how to balance national security concerns with individual freedoms.

Some members of Congress are calling for the government to continue a program that collects vast amount of phone data that is set to expire shortly, and others are saying the problem is the existence of smartphone applications and other consumer technology that allows people to carry out conversations that can go completely undetected.

Unless Congress acts, the National Security Agency program that allows the government to collect Americans' phone records in bulk is set to expire on Dec. 1.

Sen. Tom Cotton and a growing number of co-sponsors are now calling for the delay of that program's expiration until at least the end of January 2017.

Powerful Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain have all signed on as co-sponsors, a Cotton spokeswoman said.

"Now is not the time to sacrifice our national security for political talking points. We should allow the Intelligence Community to do their job and provide them with the tools they need to keep us safe," Cotton said in a statement last week.

But given the program's looming expiration date, the Senate is not likely to have a chance to vote on his bill. The Senate returns to work on the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 30 -- just hours before the program expires.

"The timeline isn't ideal but it seems likely the NSA would be able to turn the bulk collection system back on if it was permitted to after a period of dormancy," Cotton spokeswoman Caroline Rabbitt told ABC.
So far the list of co-sponsors does not include any Democrats.

There is bipartisan support, however, for changes to the burgeoning industry of encryption applications that are marketed to users looking for ways to avoid government surveillance. These readily available apps are believed to be increasingly co-opted by terrorists who use them to shield their communications from government eyes.

"It is likely that end-to-end encryption was used to communication between those individuals in Belgium, in France, and in Syria,” Burr, the Intelligence Committee chairman, said last week after a classified briefing on the Paris attacks.

"It's a black Web and there's no way of piercing it," added the committee's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, over the weekend.

She said technology companies, many of which are located in her home state of California, must be open to changing their products so that the government can access communications from suspicious users -- what FBI chief James Comey has referred to as a "back door."

"I am hopeful that the companies, most of whom are my constituents -- not most, but many -- will understand what we're facing," she said, adding that she envisions such surveillance requiring a court order - a nod to the difficult balance lawmakers face between ensuring civil liberties and protecting national security.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama trotted out his best jokes at the 2015 White House turkey pardon Wednesday afternoon in the Rose Garden, even getting some laughs from his daughters -– who appeared at times disinterested in last year’s proceedings.

“It is hard to believe that this is my seventh year of pardoning turkeys,” Obama said. “Time flies, even if turkeys don’t.”

“That was good, that was good,” Sasha, his youngest daughter, said with a giggle.

“I thought it was good,” the president replied.

This year’s lucky turkey was “Abe,” an 18-week-old, 40-pound turkey raised in California’s Central Valley under the supervision of the National Turkey Federation.

“Abe is now a free bird. He’s TOTUS -– the Turkey of the United States,” Obama said.

“If for some reason Abe can't fulfill his duties to walk around and gobble all day, Honest is in an undisclosed location ready to serve in the TOTUS line of succession,” he continued.

The Obama daughters were criticized after last year's pardoning for looking bored at times. (One former Republican Capitol Hill staffer criticized them for their expressions, and later resigned over the remarks.)
This year, the First Daughters seemed to enjoy this year’s event, joking with each other and their father throughout the ceremony.

In his second-to-last turkey pardon -– potentially his last with both daughters, as Malia will start college next year -– the president thanked Sasha and Malia for their participation.

“They do this solely because it makes me feel good. Not because they actually think that this is something I should be doing,” he said.

“As you get older you appreciate when your kids just indulge you like this, so I'm very grateful,” he continued.

Abe was picked to participate in the Rose Garden ceremony over his alternate, “Honest,” in an online poll. Both turkeys –- who were named by California school children -– will live out their days at a historic Virginia turkey farm after receiving their presidential pardons.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services